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Teaching the one-minute preceptor in two easy steps
Developing the one-minute preceptor. Gallagher P et al. The Clinical Teacher 2102; 9:358-362.


Reviewed by Janet Meller

What was the study question?
Can the role of busy clinicians as teachers be enhanced within the context of their busy clinical schedules?

How was the study done?
At the University of Otago in Wellington, New Zealand, two educational activities to teach the skills of the One Minute Preceptor were developed. The first was an interactive workshop and the second was an observed teaching interaction with feedback. Fifteen to twenty clinicians attended the workshop and four to five of these were subsequently observed teaching in a clinical setting. (Editor's note: I am surprised the authors do not know how many people attended each of their interventions.)

What were the results?
The authors feel that the one-minute preceptor is easily taught to clinicians and was embraced by the clinical faculty although it was unclear what percentage of faculty agreed to participate. The authors' key recommendations (based on their observations of teachers in action) are:
• faculty should teach at the time and place that is convenient for them
• discussions are better than formal presentations
• sessions should be brief and focused
• observing students should be natural and routine
• feedback should always be provided

What are the implications of these findings?
Many clerkship/residency directors are frustrated by a lack of willing participation by faculty in teaching. This technique appears to offer an easily accepted, easily learned technique to incorporate teaching opportunities into the day-to-day routine. To review, the One-Minute preceptor involves: choosing a topic that occurs as a matter of course in routine practice, exploring the students thinking, reinforcing 1-2 core principles, and providing feedback (both positive and constructive).

Editor's note: This descriptive report reviews an important teaching technique but, unfortunately, contributes little to the medical education literature. What would have made the study more valuable is knowing how the participants evaluated the program or knowing if the intervention resulted in improved teaching or preceptor satisfaction (SLB).

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